'He was a gentle giant': Family, friends remember innocent bystander shot and killed in hail of gunfire

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Monday, July 31, 2017

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- There were so many shots fired in the 11300 block of Homestead in northeast Houston Sunday night, police didn't have enough markers for the spent shell casings.

But one shot hit 41-year-old Jason Jolley across the street and killed him.

"From everything we've learned about the victim, he seemed to be a well-known guy, liked in the neighborhood," said HPD Detective Terrance Jackson.

Jolley's older sister, Kendra Larkin, was still processing what had happened when she spoke with Eyewitness News Monday morning.

"He enjoyed life. He was so full of life," she said, fighting back tears. "He was a gentle giant. A gentle giant."

Jolley volunteered at the local grocery store, bagging food and helping customers to their cars. He was friendly and always had a smile on his face, friends said. But late Sunday, he was at the car wash, on the phone, when he was shot and killed.

RELATED: Innocent man killed in northeast Houston shootout

He was an innocent victim in what police described as a shootout among vehicles in the parking lot across the street and one driving south on Homestead. Police said there were more than two dozen rounds fired. Although there was a crowd of people gathered in the parking lot, they have few leads.

"This is one of the most hurting things," said Willie Carr, a family friend. "If it had happened to one of my sons, it wouldn't have been any badder. I don't know how to take this man."

Among those who knew Jolley was Larry Holiday, a security guard at the grocery store where Jolley volunteered and outside which the shooting happened.

He said there is petty crime, but nothing like what happened Sunday night.

"We usually have a crowd on Sundays that comes out," explained Holiday. "It's a rowdy crowd. But to the extent that happened yesterday, it's the first time."

Eyewitness News has learned, however, police are frequently called to this block for disturbances, theft, robbery and trespassing.

Jolley's family, still in shock, is having trouble reconciling the loss. Jolley lived with his father and was close to his older siblings. They want whoever did this behind bars.

"They can't even imagine what they've taken from us," said Larkin. "They'll never know what they've taken from us. I think they should pay for this. They were out there shooting. They didn't think about the consequences of their actions."

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